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Andrew Reid

There will be a Sony A7S II successor. The bad news is - "it will take time"

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I am going to have to be quite hard on Sony in this article, but it comes from a place of love.

In an interview with DPReview, Kenji Tanaka, Vice President and Senior General Manager of Sony's Business Unit 1, Digital Imaging Group had a few things to say that interested me, but most of them not in a good way.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Absolutely NO way the a7siii comes in 2 years from now. 

They went back to the design when Panasonic announced the S1, now they are just trying to add 4K60 10b without overheating. This will be a 2019 camera. 90% of the camera is probably done and now they are trying to make it work technically.

Also, I agree with you, this shitty Japanese mentality of “we do what customer want”. It’s too late. 

Apple said that ages ago: if you wait for your customer to tell you what they want, by the time you bring the product on the shelf they want something else. And it’s never been so true. 

Their job is to anticipate customer needs 2y in advance so they meet the need when the camera is ready.

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Something radical has changed over at Sony. It used to be nearly impossible to keep up with their camera announcements, now the competition is either catching up or gearing up to surpass them. Shipping on the A7iii was horrendously slow. Even months after reviews were out, it was unavailable at major suppliers. The apsc line has stalled badly, and even the A5100 and 6000 are still lurking around stores embarrassingly. Don’t even start on lenses. Either madly overpriced compared to the competitors, or badly in need of refreshment. Take the (silver only) 16mm apsc lens and compare it to the 16mm sigma which boasts better optics and overall quality and doesn’t look like a lemon on the end of a predominantly black camera body line up. Great that 3rd party companies have stepped in to fill the vacuum, but you always have a gnawing doubt about AF and other issues with non native glass. Maybe they lost their best R&D people to a rival. 

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I emailed Sony A7S II feedback 3 years ago :)

gdfeg24zu1i01.jpg

6 minutes ago, wolf33d said:

Absolutely NO way the a7siii comes in 2 years from now. 

They went back to the design when Panasonic announced the S1, now they are just trying to add 4K60 10b without overheating. This will be a 2019 camera. 90% of the camera is probably done and now they are trying to make it work technically.

Maybe it is just bad English but the Japanese manager says they haven't even begun yet. "We are thinking about making one"

6 minutes ago, Tom Joe said:

Something radical has changed over at Sony. It used to be nearly impossible to keep up with their camera announcements, now the competition is either catching up or gearing up to surpass them.

I don't feel the same excitement about their range of products as I used to.

The RX100 VI with the slower lens, same old ergonomics as the past 5, where's the creativity?

A7S II - past it.

A7 III - pretty nice, I bought it, but it has a lack of personality, it's not as fun to shoot with as an X-H1, X-T3, Leica Sl, Z7 and quite a few others.

A7R III - pointless to even own it now the A7 III exists

Ergonomic side has improved very slightly, not enough. Menus still chaos.

Sony have unsurpassed amazing tech. 24-240mm zoom lens on a 1" camera that does 240fps. Unique electronic ND filter on FS5. Great 4K on a full frame sensor with 6K full pixel readout. The delivery of all that is done in a charmless, unimaginative way. I'm sorry but it's true. You never feel really all that excited to pick up the cameras. They need to stop edging forward with incremental changes and completely revamp their bodies.

6 minutes ago, Tom Joe said:

Shipping on the A7iii was horrendously slow. Even months after reviews were out, it was unavailable at major suppliers. The apsc line has stalled badly, and even the A5100 and 6000 are still lurking around stores embarrassingly. Don’t even start on lenses.

I agree. Still the most fun camera in the APS-C line is the NEX 7. Since then, it's got more and more charmless. A6500 is a brick, with an awful control scheme. Zero innovation. At least the slim NEX 7 with twin dials was innovative at the time. What have they been doing since? Faffing around and tweaking stuff. The technology is racing ahead but the designs are standing still.

6 minutes ago, Tom Joe said:

Either madly overpriced compared to the competitors, or badly in need of refreshment.

To Sony's credit they do have affordable ones like the 28mm F2 FE and 50mm F1.8

The good stuff is always expensive and overpriced, whether you go Canon, Nikon or Sony. Panasonic and Fuji are a bit better but still pricey. It's how they make the BIG margins, on glass.

6 minutes ago, Tom Joe said:

Take the (silver only) 16mm apsc lens and compare it to the 16mm sigma which boasts better optics and overall quality and doesn’t look like a lemon on the end of a predominantly black camera body line up.

Indeed. But you can at least buy the Sigma, as Sony let them have the e-mount specs.

 

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By the way he says the camera will be better than customer expectations. Then he says customer want 4K60p 10 bit 4:2:2 with better AF. So this means the camera will be better than that. 
Looking forward to getting my 4K120p 12bit A7S III with Canon-like DPAF !! 😬

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I think they have the A7S III ready. I think they had it ready a year ago. The A9 has a sensor very similar to the venice, so give it a firmwareupdate and allow for 4K 60p and 10 bit and that's it. 
Of course Sony will not do that, they want to milk their customers and offer another camera just for video. 
The part of the interview where I laughed the most was, when he said they care for their customers. lol 

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It seems to me that the last big frontiers for mirrorless cameras and small-ish video cameras are internal NDs, IBIS, and quality audio.

It would make a lot of sense for both Sony and Fuji, who have dedicated "video" cameras (A7sII + X-H1) to lean all in. Canon could also do this by making their XC-10/15 have interchangeable lenses and an APS-C sensor.

My dream:

- A Fuji X-H2 that is slightly larger (10-20%) to allow for internal ND (even a drop-in filter like Canon's EOS R adapter) + the XT3's upgrades (codec and AF) with A high-quality XLR breakout like the XC-15 (both Sony and Panasonic's aren't great for professional use). Or even the Pocket 4K's solution of a mini-XLR + 3.5mm and two-channel audio. 

That would be it. I'd go all-in with Fuji if that happened - they have the best APS-C lens lineup, beautiful video quality, and my favorite color science. 

---

Really amazed someone hasn't put internal NDs in a small, large sensor body yet. I don't really hold out hope for Canon or Sony to do it because they are trying to protect their cinema lines, but Fuji or BlackMagic could easily (I was actually surprised the Pocket 4K didn't have it after I saw how far their mount stuck out from the sensor - looked like it was going to). 

If Fuji did the above, anything below $5k would be fair game, IMO. 

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

I emailed Sony A7S II feedback 3 years ago :)

gdfeg24zu1i01.jpg

Maybe it is just bad English but the Japanese manager says they haven't even begun yet. "We are thinking about making one"

I don't feel the same excitement about their range of products as I used to.

The RX100 VI with the slower lens, same old ergonomics as the past 5, where's the creativity?

A7S II - past it.

A7 III - pretty nice, I bought it, but it has a lack of personality, it's not as fun to shoot with as an X-H1, X-T3, Leica Sl, Z7 and quite a few others.

A7R III - pointless to even own it now the A7 III exists

Ergonomic side has improved very slightly, not enough. Menus still chaos.

Sony have unsurpassed amazing tech. 24-240mm zoom lens on a 1" camera that does 240fps. Unique electronic ND filter on FS5. Great 4K on a full frame sensor with 6K full pixel readout. The delivery of all that is done in a charmless, unimaginative way. I'm sorry but it's true. You never feel really all that excited to pick up the cameras. They need to stop edging forward with incremental changes and completely revamp their bodies.

I agree. Still the most fun camera in the APS-C line is the NEX 7. Since then, it's got more and more charmless. A6500 is a brick, with an awful control scheme. Zero innovation. At least the slim NEX 7 with twin dials was innovative at the time. What have they been doing since? Faffing around and tweaking stuff. The technology is racing ahead but the designs are standing still.

To Sony's credit they do have affordable ones like the 28mm F2 FE and 50mm F1.8

The good stuff is always expensive and overpriced, whether you go Canon, Nikon or Sony. Panasonic and Fuji are a bit better but still pricey. It's how they make the BIG margins, on glass.

Indeed. But you can at least buy the Sigma, as Sony let them have the e-mount specs.

 

Agree w everything you said, minus the a6500 part. I love mine. Alot

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Agree with your message @Andrew Reid but personnally I prefer to have the specs over the ergonomics. Sure both would be nice. 

But with the A7III this summer even though menus and specs are not perfect, the improvement VS last generation (battery life, custom menus,...) were enough for me to not be too much bothered. Now with the same specs (nikon Z6) I will choose the Nikon for sure. But if Sony brings the A7S with 4K60p 10 bit and more well again I will prefer that more than a Z6.

As soon as the camera is usable enough spec win for me. 

Of course ideally we would have a Z7  with 4K60 10bit internally and nice 240p. But this is not coming before 3 years next gen so A7S or S1 it will be. Fuji XT3 while waiting. And I am sure A7S will bring new Venice color science so that should be one more improvement for this line..

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Oh my god YES!

Finally!

Doin simply what the customers want rarely brings real benefits for them, because customers don't know what they want until they see it. Your job as a manufacturer is to have a vision for the future and to make people desire it. 

Or you can just take all the specs they ask for, and put them on a tiny pricey box. 

This is the real difference between Sony and Panasonic.

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Bad article...

There's no full frame autofocus 4k 60p 10 bit yet 

Manager clearly said that customers want 4k 60p 4:2:2 10 bit and Sony want to create a camera better than this, I think that 4k 120p 8 bit it's ready to sell in the next few month 

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@Andrew Reid 

A few things to read between the lines. "and of course more battery power" 

I'm betting Sony needs a new body design to deal with internal heat. They will throw in a new battery possibly to justify a larger a body and make it look like it was all to appease the customers. The new body is there to provide a much longer batter life or something like that. 

Seeing how Sony was able to create model after model, I'm guessing they're not that far behind as you suggest and they already have something they're testing and  by NAB they will have a camera to show. 

 

The only unresolved issue might be if Sony decides to go for a new mount. I'm guessing there are probably internal discussion to jump to a new mount that is compatible with E using adapters but enables them to provide a class leading IBIS. If I was to speculate, I would guess there are engineers and marketing/business people sitting around and debating this topic.  Maybe they would call it E+ mount. 

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I had a vision! The successor of the A7S II will be the A7S IV and it will be release after A7R IV and A7 IV! They will skip the name "A7S III" just for mocking us! 😂

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I think Sony has and continues to do a great job. The A7III is a great camera. So was the A7SII. Nikon's new mirrorless certainly gives the Sony some competition. But other then that nobody else has a 6k sensor full frame with no crop. Panasonic is gearing into action but its not out yet, and will most likely have sucky auto focus. 

That said I am not a big Sony fan. Fuji all the way. 

5 hours ago, currensheldon said:

 

- A Fuji X-H2 that is slightly larger (10-20%) to allow for internal ND (even a drop-in filter like Canon's EOS R adapter) + the XT3's upgrades (codec and AF) with A high-quality XLR breakout like the XC-15 (both Sony and Panasonic's aren't great for professional use). Or even the Pocket 4K's solution of a mini-XLR + 3.5mm and two-channel audio. 

That would be it. I'd go all-in with Fuji if that happened - they have the best APS-C lens lineup, beautiful video quality, and my favorite color science. 

IMO. 

 

I think the XH2 will be a great camera, probably have higher frame rates (240fps or 180), internal 422 and IBIS. I doubt it will have XLR inputs or internal ND's though. 

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My fear is that Sony is starting to become... Canon 😁

They managed to make a huge impression in the FF market; in fact, they claim at every opportunity that they are No1 in sales for FF cameras worldwide for 2018, regardless of type (DSLR/mirrorless) and nobody seems to dispute it. They accomplished the unthinkable: having a literally huge lens ecosystem, both Sony brand and third party, in just 5 years or so. Now it seems to me that they either rest on their laurels, or, a more probable estimation, they are rather nervous at being at the top. After all, it's the first time they have such an impact in the photographic market, as a systems (not only sensors/electronics) brand. But... read on. 

As @Andrew Reid remarked, and everybody is screaming for years, they've left their APS-C sector far behind, both in capabilities and originality. This is where they can make the next impression, I think, winning a huge number of fans in the process. As discussed in the other thread about the rumored "high-end" APS-C Sony camera, they just have to take advantage of the fact that there is currently... no Fujifilm X-H2! If they manage to produce an APS-C camera with the same features as the X-T3 but also the advantages of a larger a9-type body (IBIS, large battery, ergonomics, etc), and sell it close to the a7iii initial price, they'll have an absolute winner. Their FF line-up remains untouched (a FF buyer will remain a FF buyer), they even offer a more specialized (high-speed, video-centric) compatible option for FF Sony users. They also ruin the day of their Panasonic and Fujifilm rivals and even create doubts for new customers looking at Canon R or Nikon Z for video. They will need at least a couple of top-notch APS-C lenses to complete the package, but they have the luxury of the existing FE lineup. 

This is the "switching attention to APS-C" they're talking about, I think. Probably a smaller, a6xxx body-type camera will emerge at some point too. And what we are getting to is this: perhaps this is not incompetence or nervousness at all, but, rather, a clever medium/long term strategy? 

  • Interest in the FF line is a given; just keep it alive by marketing means, e.g. making a point on how complete the FE system is, compared to Canonikon and the (still vaporware) Panasonic
  • Promise for an out-of-this-world a7Siii, but be deliberately vague, buying time to see rival's moves
  • Aggressively attack the crop camera sector, stealing as many customers from Fuji/Panasonic (and even Canon EOS M) as you can. 

 

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I think its a little too early to say they are turning into Canon. The A7III is still the bargain full frame camera to get. Nikon's release is cool but it doesn't have some of the features the cheaper Sony does. 

They are cooking up new stuff it will just take time. Canon isn't cooking up anything, just serving left overs, cold leftovers😂

The A7000 is rumored to be released with internal 422 and 240fps HD and IBIS. That camera alone with be a winner, especially if they redo their color science. 

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I actually think that Sony's goal of 'trying  to exceed customers' expectations is part of the problem, Yes, they have done that in the past but it is relatively easy to do if there is no competition in your space. Once competition arrives it is a different story. It is doubly difficult to achieve in 'video' because customers expectations are built around the 'best specs available' which tends to be a Panasonic GHx - that has the advantage of a smaller sensor.

I dont really see that Sony has falllen behind though (except fo a lack of external 10 bit.) The article says '...

Nikon have got to the point where the XQD card equipped Z7 surpasses Sony on a technical level using their own technology and manufacturing facilities. It supplants Sony’s best specced stills camera....

But I dont really see it...

1. The A7riii has a much better focus system for stills. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-z7-first-impressions-review/5

2. The A7riii has more dynamic range than the Z7. http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Canon EOS R,Nikon Z 7,Sony ILCE-7RM3 

3. And even the single card XQD slot on the Z7  isnt much of an advantage as the camera write speed tops out at 245MB/s https://www.cameramemoryspeed.com/nikon-z7/fastest-xqd-card-speed-test/ and the Z7s buffer is smaller than the A7riii.

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